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Barklage pleads in personal tax case


Longtime political consultant David Barklage pleaded guilty to a felony tax charge regarding his personal income Wednesday, promising to pay nearly $152,000 in unpaid taxes.

According to the April indictment, Barklage failed to report $443,633 in income from 2012-2014. He owed $151,843 in taxes on that income, the indictment said. 

“I take full responsibility for my actions, and I intend to make full restitution,” Barklage said in a statement. “I am deeply grateful for the support of my family and friends, and I apologize for any embarrassment my personal tax issues have caused for them. I am relieved to move toward the resolution of my personal tax matter.”

Barklage was represented by Wampler & Passanise in the case. The team said it hoped to see a probation sentence based on his plea. 

“The federal sentencing guidelines are advisory in nature,” the firm said. “We intend to ask the Court to impose a sentence of probation, which we believe is justified based upon Mr. Barklage’s acceptance of responsibility and his payment of full restitution.”

The issue at hand stemmed from his personal tax filings — not his business activities. During the time period covered under the indictment, Barklage was the full owner of The Barklage Company and had a 50 percent partnership in another consulting company. He allegedly failed to report $111,500; $64,464; and $33,535 for work on a political campaign from 2012-2014. 

Additionally, Barklage did not report $30,000 for lobbying work and $122,580 from an independent media producer during that time period, according to the indictment. 

“It’s telling that the plea agreement does not prohibit Mr. Barklage from arguing for a downward variance from the sentencing guideline range,” said a former DOJ attorney who asked not to be identified. “Given that Mr. Barklage has no prior criminal history, that he has accepted responsibility by pleading guilty, and assuming he makes full restitution, I think it is very likely the judge will give him probation.” 

Barklage, a longtime consultant prominent in campaigns since the 1990s, has worked on several major Republican bids in Missouri over the course of his career.

The case was heard in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis. Barklage’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 2.